You're right Ron...

But jeez, they make it sound so easy in the patents!

Ok, full disclosure:

The etching procedure was, etching in 104F water, changed about 3 times, then plunged into 90% IPA to dehydrate it, then 5% sodium sulfite (kinda old though...), cool water wash & rinse in distilled water.

Honestly, OTOMH I can't remember if I did a pre-soak before the hot water etch and I probably should've. Also I think my procedure next time should be a little different: 68 water pre-soak, 104 water etch, 68 water set, 5% sodium sulfite clear, 68 water wash for several minutes, distilled water rinse and finally dehydration in 90% IPA.

As for the transfer, I soaked the DT paper for 10 minutes or more in cool water (15C roughly... and yes, I'm mixing my units...) and squeegeed flat on glass - no conditioner to speak of.

I guess I need to get my procedure down pat & work out all the mechanical/manipulatory faults so that we can really see what's going on.